FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 4, 2017
Contact: Scott Groene, Executive Director, 801.712.5034 (cell)
Steve Bloch, Legal Director, 801-428-3981
Mathew Gross, Media Director, 802-578-3394
Salt Lake City, UT – In response to President Trump’s proclamations today that eviscerate Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance Executive Director Scott Groene issued the following statement:
“Today’s illegal proclamations by President Trump represent the single greatest attack a president has ever launched against America’s federal public lands. It is certain that the legacies of both President Trump, and Sen. Orrin Hatch, who goaded him into this despicable act, will be forever tainted by their assault on more than two million acres of Utah’s wild lands that are beloved by the American public.”
“SUWA is committed to defending these monuments in court, and confident that today’s political action will be overturned. Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments will be restored to their full glory, and President Trump’s action today will be remembered as another failed attempt to thwart the will of the American people, who want these lands to remain protected.”
With regard to his attack on Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Trump divided it into three smaller sections totaling roughly 1 million acres, (a 48% reduction [900,000 acres less]) than the original monument.
“By eliminating nearly half of Grand Staircase-Escalante, President Trump has opened up some of the most wild and scenic redrock canyons in Utah to the lost cause of coal mining. For 21 years, the protected Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument has inspired families to reconnect with the wild and with each other, has reinvigorated surrounding communities, and lead to significant paleontological discoveries. It has even been affirmed and ratified by Congress. Trump’s grandstanding disregards the success of this monument, merely because Sen. Hatch instructed him to.”
With regard to his ferocious attack on Bears Ears National Monument, Trump replaced it with two, much smaller, non-contiguous units totaling less than 230,000 acres (an 83% reduction [1.15 million acres less] when compared to Bears Ears).
“President Trump’s decimation of the Bears Ears is just the latest in a long string of insults he has lobbed toward Tribes, five of which worked diligently for years to ensure the protection of their cultural homeland.”